Over seven seasons the HBO original series Hard Knocks has given football fans a closer look at some of their favorite NFL teams. The show picks one franchise a year, with a documentary crew chronicling the lives of the players and coaches during pre-season training camp.
The Miami Dolphins were the subject of the show’s 2012 season, and among the crew capturing the action and drama behind the scenes were Full Sail grads Colby Best, Nick Moo, and Danny Vanzurra. After recently wrapping filming we caught up with 2003 alum Colby Best to learn about his summer as a production assistant for the series’ camera department.
Full Sail: What was a typical day of filming like?
Colby Best: Our days usually started around 6:30 in the morning. We’d get the camera operator’s gear ready, then start making our rounds throughout the stadium, getting B-roll shots and covering all the assignments the director gave us. We were capturing everything you could imagine – the players eating breakfast, in the locker rooms, training on the field. Just nonstop the entire day.
FS: As a big football fan, how did you enjoy working in that environment?
CB: Well I’m a Colts and Carolina Panthers fan, but I like Miami too, so it was very cool. We were around all these huge NFL stars every day, getting to hang out and create relationships with them. It was kind of like we’re in training camp also, because we were there as early as them and we’d leave after they left.
FS: What was the biggest challenge you had during production?
CB: With Hard Knocks I was consistently working 12-16 hour days from July to September. And you know how hot the weather in Miami is in the summer? Let me tell you – I lost 25lbs on this job, just from running and gunning outside in the heat all day.
FS: Looking back at your work on this season, what stands out most about the experience?
CB: One of the coolest moments is getting to see the very beginning of someone’s career. A new guy got brought onto the team, and we caught it – from the time he tried out to the time he signed and got his uniform. That was a beautiful moment for me, because this guy chased his dream since he was a kid, and now he’s playing for an NFL team. The look on his face was priceless, and to witness it was very special.